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Elected local officials in Florida have been busy this summer bringing their cities and counties into compliance with a new state law before it takes effect on October 1. The law prohibits local governments from having any law on their books that restricts gun use or ownership to a greater degree than state law. The idea is, primarily, to make it easier for CCW holders to comply with the law no matter where they are in the Sunshine State. No more travelling from Tampa to Tallahassee and having to wonder what arcane regulations may make you illegal in one burgh but not in another. Simple, right? It should be…

The local yokels are combing through existing laws looking for anything that would run afoul of the new measure. County commissioners and city aldermen from the panhandle to the keys are having to repeal gun control measures many of them are dearly fond of. And for some, it’s just too much to stomach.

Palm Beach county commissioner Burt Aaronson’s in a tizzy. He’s worried that if he and his colleagues repeal their particular local restrictions, they won’t be living up to their sworn responsibilities. But Burt’s only concern is the welfare of his constituents. Yeah, that’s it.

“We are sworn in to uphold the health, safety and welfare,” Commissioner Burt Aaronson said. “And this certainly does not allow us to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people we serve.”

County attorneys have spent weeks combing through the county’s ordinances and laws looking for regulations that restrict firearms.

Commissioners have already overturned a provision that banned guns in county parks.

On Tuesday the commission took the final step to repeal a county rule that prevented people from bringing guns into child-care centers. Instead, gun owners must now keep their firearms in a locked box to bring them into the centers, Chief Assistant County Attorney Jim Mize said.

The commission also took preliminary steps to repeal several other gun regulations, including a provision that blocked people from discharging a firearm east of 20-Mile Bend.

Commissioners said the unanimous decisions were made “under duress.”

“It is the Wild West here in Palm Beach County,” Aaronson said. “West Palm Beach may become known as Wild West Palm Beach.”

Come on, Burt. Is that all you got? That moldy golden oldie, the wild west, blood in the streets ‘argument’? Either you’re painfully intellectually lazy or anti-2A folks like you are well and truly out of ideas. My money’s on an admixture of both.

Burt‘s concerned about evil gun owners running amok, carrying their heaters into sensitive places like schools and the shuffleboard courts at Del Boca Vista. But just like in your favorite western morality play, the sheriff rides into town to restore some order.

Carrying firearms into schools or shooting in public places, which could include parks and other crowded areas, would still be banned under state law.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Tuesday the repeal of local laws would not affect residents’ safety.

“There is still a state statute,” Bradshaw said. “What the public has got to understand is that you can’t just go firing your gun off.”

Always good advice, sheriff. Thanks.

But Burt and some of his like-minded commissioners have a warm place in their hearts for many of their own special rules and regs. So much so that they’ve asked the county’s attorney to explore the option of challenging the new state law in court rather than complying.

In 1999, the county signed off on a rule that required people buying firearms at gun shows or flea markets to undergo the same criminal background checks as those purchasing guns from licensed dealers.

The next year, county commissioners signed off on a local law requiring gun owners to lock their weapons while children were nearby or face a $500 fine. Gun owners opposed the ordinance and protested loudly at the meeting where the Palm Beach County Commission passed the law.

That last one would be almost as easy to comply with as trying to keep track of 535 Congresscritters to make sure you stay at least 1000 feet from them while you’re packing. Which is the whole point, of course. Easier to just keep the gun in your safe than have to worry about inadvertently breaking the law.

There’s no word yet as to whether Burt and his pals will actually pony up the taxpayers’ hard-earned money for a legal challenge. A number of other states have similar statutes so it would seem that the effort wouldn’t hold a lot of promise. But it’s not Burt’s money. And he’s only trying to protect the county’s health, safety and welfare, after all.

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  1. “Elected local officials in Florida have been busy this summer bringing their cities and counties into compliance with a new state law before it takes effect on October 1. The law prohibits local governments from having any law on their books that restricts gun use or ownership to a greater degree that state law.”

    Actually the preemption statute has been in effect since 1987, only without teeth for those public “servants” who ignored the law and did whatever they wanted to do. The new law puts TEETH into breaking the law, and THAT’s what has the politico’s panties all in a wad.

    • More or less. No one was allowed to carry guns and lawmen usually had you surrender your firearm. IIRC In fact, the wild west sounds something like a wet dream to these people. People surrendering their guns to lawmen, etc… Although people then would probably shake their heads at the stupidity of “reliance on the cops when being victimized”. They’d probably tell them that’s dumb because the Marshall only gets to the crime scene as fast as news reaches him and as fast as a horse can go.

      The fact is, the moment you leave town, you’re armed. You never know what kind of danger you face. From wild animals, people, the occasional Indian-monster-myth-that-may-or-may-not-be-true, and the likes. Being armed usually meant you get to live until something gets your luck.

      People back then also worked for a living too. Even the lazy bums worked hard for their drinking money. Nowadays the hardest thing they’ll do is cash in a welfare check.

  2. Are there any examples in America (or anywhere else) of violence spiking after a liberalization of gun laws? Is there even one?

    The reason I ask is that if you have a handful, or even just one, to use as data then there’s a legitimate pragmatic argument to be had. But if you’re wrong 100% of the time for twenty-five years then maybe, just maybe, it’s time to rethink your position.

    As a matter of fact, let’s turn this around for a moment. For people like MikeB and Magoo let me ask you this: if I said, repeatedly, that passing “shall issue” laws would completely eliminate violent crime how would you react? I suspect you’d laugh your asses off, call me insane and then point to more than two deacades of CCW laws that have not eliminated violent crime.

    But claiming that it will eliminate crime is no less accurate and no less insane than saying it will cause “blood in the streets” or a “return to the wild west”. And it has the exact same amount of empirical data to back it up.

    So will you ridicule the antis who say this? If not, why not?

    • While I’m all for a nationwide standard (federalism issues notwithstanding), I’m shocked, shocked to find gambling going on here that your baseline is California law.

    • Why California? Why not Vermont? Or Arizona?

      And I see that you’re as unfamiliar with the 10th Amendment as you are with the 2nd. I’m shocked.

    • California should be the baseline for gun control like China should be the baseline for human rights.

      Then again, you might be right. There’s nowhere I feel more safe than downtown LA.

    • I think using Virginia Firearms Laws as the baseline would be best. Our crime rates here are far lower then California so our gun laws must be more effective. Less crime is what your are looking for right Mike?

    • Actually, I agree with a federal gun law. Every citizen of the United States of America must be armed (handgun, rifle or shotgun – open or concealed carry) when outside her/his place of residence, unless s/he has a “conscientious victim” waiver from the Depart of Homeland Security.

      • God I’d love to see that…. Also, I’d like to see the whole NFA / class 3 thing go away. There’s no reason why the military / police need an advantage over citizens other than to make it easier to oppress them.

  3. Quote from Linked Article: “Richard Radcliffe, executive director of the Palm Beach County League of Cities, said that the county’s 38 municipalities are also searching their laws for gun restrictions. The task is challenging because gun rules are often buried in other regulations, such as those dictating appropriate noise levels in an area.
    It is unclear how many cities and towns will have to repeal local rules as a result of the new state law, Radcliffe said. ‘Everybody is in the process of going through all of their code books,’ he said. ”

    Therein lies the problem. There is no practical way for a citizen to fully understand all of the laws on the books, especially when they are “buried” in the local city and county codes. This poses a particularly thorny problem for citizens traveling through a jurisdiction from out of town. Thats why these so-called state “preemption” laws are so important and necessary. How is a citizen supposed to understand the law when the bureaucrats even have trouble locating them? They say that “ignornace of the law is no excuse,” but at some point it seems to me that states have to draw the line.

    And as for any sort of legal challenge to the state law… well… good luck with that, Palm Beach County. There is no equivalent to the federalism concept that defines the relationship between the state and federal government. In other words, states have plenary power to regulate – and preempt – its political subdivisions.

  4. I’d go with Vermont’s rules because they actually believe in the second amendment. California’s silly laws don’t work for them and they’d never work anywhere else, plus those no good COMMIES are all going to fall into the ocean when the BIG ONE hits and we’ll be rid of those fools forever.

    • “those no good COMMIES are all going to fall into the ocean when the BIG ONE hits and we’ll be rid of those fools forever.”

      One can dream can’t we? This very thing has been a long held hope of mine. Problem is, it wouldn’t effect states like New York, Massachusetts, or Illinois.

  5. If these people really are worried about the health, safety, and welfare of their respective districts maybe they run some smear campaigns against the fatties. I’m pretty sure lardo sitting in his living room sucking down cheese burgers 24/7 is a much bigger problem than a law abiding CCW holder…after all, those poor EMT’s are gonna have to risk back injury getting tubo out of his house when his heart explodes.

  6. If Burt Aaronson really wanted to “uphold (sic) the health, safety and welfare” of his constituents, he’d quit. If there’s one thing the good people of Palm Beach County need less of, it’s little tin gods on wheels.

  7. Thought I read that the “teeth” included a $5000 fine and or dismal from office for the offending pol. That tickles me. I hope they make a few (as many as possible) examples.

    • Yeah, me too. The arrogance of statists needs sissy-slapped in front of God and everybody, regardless at what level of gov’t it occurs.

  8. To all those who would favor a national law for carrying arms, I remind you that since carrying arms for self-defense isn’t engaging in commerce, there is no federal authority to enact such a law.

    There is enumerated federal authority, however, under Article IV Section 1 to mandate that all states honor each others’ carry permits, subject to the conditions of carrying on a license in each state, just like driver licenses. There is no federal law mandating the same for driver licenses because none is necessary due to voluntary reciprocity. Carry reciprocity ostensibly would obviate the need for a federal law, but there are 13 bad actors in the union who will never agree to reciprocity, hence the law is not only needed, but they could actually, constitutionally, DO IT.

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